A Matter of the Heart: Worldliness


A Matter of the Heart: Worldliness
1. Definition of worldliness: the attitude of a Christian’s heart that reflects the spirit of this age. The attitudes and values of a system that is spearheaded by Satan. This system is characterized by thoughts and actions that exclude God.
2. A lot of people would define worldliness with a list of do’s and don’ts, things they believe a Christian should or should not do.
3. Think about the unsaved world for a minute, many lost people are fine, upstanding citizens and all but they leave God out of their lives. They are worldly people. Their hearts are tied to this this world and the things of this world.
4. A worldly spirit makes us want to be independent of God’s control. It makes us want to say, “I’m going to do it my way”.
Worldliness and Conflict with Others
5. The first result of worldliness is conflict with others. A Christian who lives in perpetual conflict is revealing a worldly spirit. A husband and wife who fight all the time are revealing their worldliness, as are church members who constantly bicker with one another.
6. The Bible teaches us that fussing and fighting are part of the old life that is supposed to be behind us (Titus 3:1-3). Let me clarify; when I say fussing and fighting I don’t mean legitimate disagreements or differences of opinion nor and I including the kinds of confrontation that need to take place, such as confronting a sinning brother or sister. I’m talking about conflicts that have their origin in self-centeredness, jealousy, pettiness, evil desires, etc., in other words, a worldly attitude.
7. The Bible asks this question (James 4:1), “What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you”? Then the answer comes; “The source of conflict is pleasure that wage war in the hearts of believers”. (James 2:1-13) is a perfect example of worldliness-allowing the world’s spirit and values to influencing the world with God’s values.
8. At the root of so much worldly-minded conflict is the anger that flares up when we don’t get our way or someone messes with our little domain. I’m talking about the anger of man that does not achieve the righteousness of God (James 1:20). Some of us have been fussing and fighting for years about circumstances and people that bother us, and things still haven’t changed. Do you know why? Because as long as we are determined to use human means to try to accomplish a righteous goal, God steps back.
9. The Bible is clear (James 1:19) you and I can’t accomplish God’s work when we’re empowered by human anger. That’s why we need to be slow to anger, slow to takes matters into our own hands in an unbiblical way.
10. (James 4:1-2) worldliness results in internal conflict. And that internal conflict is behind conflict with others. The Bible shows us that truth. Is not the source of conflict your pleasures that wage war in your members? Verse 1-2 “you lust and do not have; so you commit murder, and you are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel”. The word members, here, is a reference to a believer’s physical body, not to the members of the church. James is talking about the pleasures that battle internally for control over us.
Summary
Illegitimate conflict can be traced to worldliness within. Until we identify and deal with the conflict within, we will never fix the crisis without.

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